Tuesday, September 28, 2021


 Hamilton Reads for 2021 selected "Blaze Island" by Catherine Bush as their choice. This is her fifth book.  Each of her books have been recognized by the Globe & Mail as well as other publications.  Born in Toronto and educated at the University of Toronto and Yale.  She has taught creative writing at Concordia University, University of British Columbia, University of Florida and at summer literary seminars in Kenya.  She has also been writer in residence at University of Alberta, University of Guelph, McMaster University and the University of New Brunswick.  In 2019 she was  a Fiction Meets Science Fellow in Delmenhorst, Germany.

One of her writing workshop stops has been to Fogo Island just off of Newfoundland where over eight summers she wrote "Blaze Island".   One of her concerns has been climate change and decided to make that one of her main themes partially inspired by her sister Elizabeth Bush who is a climate scientist..

Modeled on "The Tempest" by William Shakespeare.   I watched the Stratford version with Christopher Plummer on a DVD.  The story changed Fogo Island to Blaze Island and even used the house she stayed in as the main location.  Miranda is a relatively innocent girl in both stories.  Her father, Alan Wells was a powerful man, but with enemies some of whom forced him out a job at a major university.  A major hurricane headed to Blaze Island and generates a lot of human response.  Science and wealth clash.

 Geo engineering is an issue.  Some feel it is the easiest way to deal with climate change while critics charge we cannot predict unforeseen consequences.  Others feel that after mankind has failed to curtail harmful activities we may be forced to engineer a solution, if we can.  In any case it appears as part of a power struggle.

Each year the Hamilton library declares a noteworthy book to be the Hamilton Reads selection.  There will be some inter action with the author.  Climate change is a topic of prime interest. 

I would end with the last line of the book:  "Change is clear after it happens."

Here is a previous selection:  http://www.therealjohndavidson.com/2020/04/hamilton-reads-2020-moon-over-crusted.html

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